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A Survey of Mobile Augmented Reality Applications

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					               2012 1st International Conference on Future Trends in Computing and Communication Technologies



                 A Survey of Mobile Augmented Reality
                             Applications
                     Nur Intan Adhani                                                  Dayang Rohaya Awang Rambli
       Department of Computer Information Sciences                                 Department of Computer Information Sciences
            Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS                                              Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS
                Tronoh, Perak, Malaysia                                                    Tronoh, Perak, Malaysia


  Abstract— Mobile devices are getting popular as a                      also acknowledged the increased registration requirements in
platform for Augmented Reality (AR) application such as                  order to align real and virtual objects. Their project at that time
a Smartphone. Mobile AR is mainly available whenever                     focused on digital display headset used as a guide in aircraft
people require an informational support for a focused                    assembly.
task. Although the mobile AR application is getting                          The focus of this study is to survey on the trend of mobile
popular, only a limited number of researches are available.              AR application from the first invention in 1997 until today. It
This paper in turn presents an overview of potential or                  is found that Mobile AR is a potential tool to assist a user with
current uses of mobile AR application from the first                     many tasks such as car driving (for training purposes),
development of mobile AR application in 1997 until now.                  education, marketing purposes and others. This paper is
The objective is to observe the trend and the importance of              organized into several sections. In Section 2, the background of
mobile augmented reality by focusing on sports, games                    study will be briefly discussed and in Section 3, literature
and entertainment, cultural heritage, medical, education                 survey will be presented and discussed in details. Lastly,
and training and marketing/advertising area depended on                  Section 4, the preliminary study will be presented and
where it can be applied. Our results then indicate that                  discussed.
mobile AR is a potential tool to assist a user in many tasks.
                                                                                         II. MOBILE AUGMENTED REALITY
  Index Terms—Mobile devices, augmented reality, mobile                      Mobile Augmented Reality is one of the fastest growing
application.                                                             research clusters in Augmented Reality (AR). Papagiannakis et
                        I. INTRODUCTION                                  al. define the mobile AR system as a combination of real and
                                                                         virtual world as well as interactivity in real time by aligning
    Recently, mobile devices have become an ideal platform               actual and virtual objects to one another and the virtual
for Augmented Reality (AR). Technology of AR creates an                  intensification relatively based on dynamic 3D objects [5][6].
opening to explore new ways for the interaction between the              Specht et al., meanwhile, specify AR as a system that enhances
actual and virtual world, which is a very important area for             a person’s major senses (vision, audio, and tactile) in enabling
future research [1]. By introducing AR, it can even provide a            the virtually or naturally invisible information to be visible by
new direction for the real world that we are living in that is by        digital means [7]. Therefore, mobile AR is enabled by mobile
placing virtual objects into the scene. In AR system, users are          media devices combining camera, screen, GPS location,
conscious with their surroundings while interacting with AR              accelerometer and compass, image recognition capability and
application and the virtual content added to it [2].                     internet access which become mediums of interaction between
    A mobile device in addition has integrated with camera,              user and system [8]. Thus, the concept of AR can be applied in
power processor and even full color display and 3D graphics.             the mobile setting.
Moreover, it has equipped with accelerometer and compass.                    In addition to this concept, mobile AR is of the potential to
The rising in mobility and portability throughout our daily life         manipulate the way of information and data to be presented
have encouraged user to use mobile devices not only to                   using a system directly integrated with the real world
connect with friends and family through calls, messages, social          environment [9]. By using Mobile AR, people not only can
networks (e.g. Facebook and twitter) and emails but also have            interact with it to display the related information to pose and
become user’s personal assistants, media center, office desk,            resolve uncertainty but also can collaborate with other people.
navigator, game console, tour guide and others. For this, there          This then makes the world becomes user interface (UI). To
is a need to explore and conduct a research on the application           make Mobile AR experience possible, several technologies
areas where Mobile AR systems are used considering that only             need to be combined such as global tracking technologies,
a limited number of researches on use in real settings are               wireless communication, display technology and interaction
available, even though the popularity of Mobile AR application           technology. Hollerer [9], in response, classifies 6 important
is rising [3]. The history of AR began when the concept                  components of mobile AR as shown in Table 1.
appeared in 1960’s and when a man named Ivan Sutherland                      According to Juniper Research, AR technology will
created a first augmented reality system using an optical see-           generate $2 million in 2012, and will soar to $714 million
through head-mounted display. However, the term of AR is                 annually by 2014. “Smart” devices such as Smartphone and
coined by Caudell and Mizell in 1992 to refer to overlaying a            tablet will be more widely adopted by customers along all
computer-presented material on top of the real world [4]. They

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sectors and more new technologies will come into sight among                          edutainment, cultural heritage, medicine, navigation and path
Android and Apple Smartphones and tablets that will allow                             findings, maintenance and inspection and others.
people to use them as a platform of AR [10]. We are already
beginning to see this development as digital compasses, gyro
function and accelerometers have been spreading through the
market.
    In 1997, Steve Feiner developed the first mobile AR
application, a touring machine intended to explore the urban
environment [11]. At that time the mobile AR systems were
based on bulky hardware, carried in a backpack [11] [12].
However, smaller laptop computers, UMPCs (Ultra-Mobile                                             Fig. 1. Example of mobile AR using markers.
Personal Computer), and PDAs (Personal Digital Assistant)
followed after serving as an AR hardware platform [13] [14].                               However, this study is more focused on 5 different areas:
Today, art phones have been of sufficient processing powers,                          1) sports, games and edutainment, 2) cultural heritage, 3)
rapidly become more popular as a mobile AR platform for the                           medicine      4)    education    and    training,   and     5)
improvement of its functions [15] [16] [17] and become closer                         marketing/advertising. These 5 areas give some major
to a widespread adoption. This is due to the mobility and                             supports in terms of learning experience and promoting social
lightweight promoted to the users in which they just need to                          interactivity and collaboration among mobile AR user. In the
look through the screen and interact with the virtual object                          next subsection, the importance of these major areas will be
added to it. The users, in addition, will not need to carry or                        presented.
wear any other apparatus to experience mobile.
                                                                                        III. THE IMPORTANCE OF MOBILE AR APPLICATION AREAS
                   TABLE I.    COMPONENTS OF MOBILE AR                                A. Sports, games and edutainment
     Components                               Descriptions                               Hollerer and Feiner stated that mobile AR has a potential in
Computational                Able to generate and manage the virtual objects         games and edutainment purposes. In its application, the
platform                      in the physical setting
                                                                                      traditional 2D games based on the famous ‘Pac-Man’ for
                             Showing the virtual object in the context of the
                              physical world
                                                                                      instance have evolved [20] [21] [22]. Through the
Display Type                 Often used to convey contained information              implementation of mobile AR in games and edutainment area,
                              either matching or completely alternate for             connectivity, social interactivity and fun learning come to be
                              visual elements [18].                                   possible then. In some of the edutainment applications such as
Registration and             Aligning the physical objects with the virtual          AR Book, Dynamic 3-D objects and etc, leisure and high
Tracking                      elements to annotate.
                                                                                      entertainment experience or value could be gained.
Interaction                  Enabling people to select, access and visualize
Technologies                  relevant materials
                                                                                      B. Cultural heritage
                             Important in engaging with others while on the
Wireless Networking
                              go                                                         The term heritage refers to the study of anything that is
Data Storage and             To provide the information about the current            inherited and recovery to remain through the archeology, art,
Access Technology             environment/scenario to the user.                       tradition and culture [23]. As an important asset to the society,
                                                                                      cultural heritage needs to be protected and preserved in order
     Mobile AR technologies can be divided into 2 categories:                         to make the next generation to be able to learn from it. In
one that uses an image analysis to overlay content and another                        protecting and preserving the cultural heritage, it is sometimes
one that uses various types of sensors to determine what                              hard to maintain and recover the real artifact..At this point,
content to overlay and where to display it [2]. The one using                         mobile AR usefully plays a role in visualizing the invisible or
the image analysis has 2 types of approaches called “markers”                         transparent (i.e. reconstruction of historical objects and
and “markerless”. Related to this, Rekimoto has                                       archeological sites). In a word, the establishment of New
introduced 2D matrix markers, a square-shaped barcodes,                               technology such as mobile AR can be used as a tool and
which is one of the first marker systems to allow camera                              solution to overcome challenging issues in cultural heritage.
tracking with six 6DOF [19] as shown in Figure 1.
     Mobile AR will detect the marker in the processed image                          C. Medical
and perform pattern matching the extracted marker. A virtual                              In medical area, AR technology plays a role as a medium
object will subsequently be projected to the screen. On the                           for the medical students in applying their knowledge or
other hand, by using sensors, the position data are obtained                          practice in the form of AR simulation. The medical students
from GPS and orientation from accelerometers and                                      before applying AR technology learned from books and
geomagnetic sensors. Based on the definition of mobile AR,                            training videos. AR technology is often used in radiology and
the development of mobile AR application thus comes to be                             surgery to provide additional information such as test results,
feasible in multidisciplinary areas such as games and                                 scans, surgical training. This technology not only can help
                                                                                      doctors and physicians in improving their works but also can
                                                                                      make their practice prosperous. Treating phobia is one of




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several potential applications of mobile AR in the medical               cultural heritage; medical; education and training; and
field. Furthermore, AR technology in case of emergency can               marketing/advertising.
enable the medical personnel to be able to assess a situation
quickly. During athletic training or competition, mobile AR                  A. Sports, games and edutainment
technologies are also potential to be applied in medical use [9].            Magerkurth et al. [29] previously has ever presented an
Mostly, AR has been used for the purpose of learning practices           overview of pervasive gaming containing a section on AR
especially in surgery (inside the human body) and can provide            games. Then, through the advancement of technology, AR
the most intuitive way in understanding the patient’s anatomy            games have evolved and can be played through mobile devices.
within the region of interest [25] [26].                                     Meanwhile, Squire& Klopfer developed a game called
                                                                         Environmental Detectives [30]. It has then been developed by
D. Education and training                                                researchers in MIT’s Games-to-Teach project in conjunction
    Instead of using books, video or manual, mobile AR can               with faculty in the Environmental Science Department. By
be an alternative that can be used in education and training. In         using this game application, students are able to play the role of
this case, mobile AR will not only reduce the cost of training           environmental scientists exploring the source of a hypothetical
but also simplify the training manual - especially in military,          toxic spill. In this case, the students engage in the complex,
jet engine inspection and others. It can be used by soldier to           collaborative problem solving typical of real environmental
provide information on the targeted object, to avoid dangerous           engineers. Given a mobile media device equipped with GPS,
zones and to provide an overview of the battlefield. Much                each pair of students can see their location on a map and
more than that, this technology can be used to distinguish               conduct several virtual interviews with people in designated
between friend and foe and for strategic planners to move                locations in the physical space. Some of the experts they
units to avoid casualties.                                               interview here can provide documents, and students can take
                                                                         virtual samples of the water and the soil.
E. Marketing/Advertising                                                     Morrison et al., on the other hand, developed MapLens
       Through AR technology, the face of marketing can be               which uses the phone’s viewfinder screen to augment the
changed. Nowadays consumers are able to enjoy their                      phone’s live video with digital information registered in 3D
shopping in much fun and interactively. In this case, the                and in real-time [3]. This application is a team-location-based
technology of AR can help the consumer to pick the right                 games designed to increase the awareness of the surrounding
choices. Some of the company has implemented AR as their                 environment and to promote awareness of local environmental
marketing purposes such as IKEA. Even, advertising through               issues.
mobile has also been becoming more popular. Gartner predicts                 Henrysson et al. developed mobile AR game using
that 1 billion Smart phones will be sold by 2014 that will               kinesthetic AR interfaces in an AR tennis game [18]. This
promote mobile AR [27]. According to Juniper, mobile AR                  mobile AR game is for supporting collaborative AR
marketing revenue will largely be driven by subscription-                applications.
based services; advertising and AR-based app downloads.
                                                                             B. Cultural heritage
    Even though mobile AR is seen as a potential tool that is                Previously, mobile AR uses a head-mounted display
able to assist user in many tasks, some issues in implementing           (HMD) as a mobile guide in the cultural heritage sector. At this
this technology remain still. As mentioned by Zeichick,                  point, to visualize the non-existing temple, mobile AR guides
“mobile devices will not always be connected, and when                   for instance has been implemented in the site of ancient
connected, there is no way to guarantee or even predict                  Olympia, Greece [24]. This system can provide a personalized
bandwidth and reliability, or even jitter and delays in                  electronic guide to outdoor archaeological sites, help users to
communication” [28]. Another important issue is to determine             navigate and make the most of their visit, and enable the
the accurate position and orientation for overlay image or               collection, exploitation, and updating of archaeological data in
content [2], which is the crucial task to be performed by the            any given sites.
mobile device besides visualization of the virtual objects.                  Papagiannakis et al. developed a system in ancient
Furthermore, hand–shake (mobile devices) can cause the                   Pompeii, Italy to visualize some ancient Roman characters in
overlay image to be deformed or flickered and as reported in             reenacting stories based on site painting [5]. Meanwhile,
Juniper, consumer awareness has become an issue especially in            Liestol developed a mobile AR system for the reconstruction of
mobile AR [10].The next section provides a few examples of               the Parthenon Temple (431 BC) [31]. This system was
related work and summarizes areas of application that have               subsequently tested by students of the Norwegian Institute in
been tested.                                                             Athens. The buildings were reconstructed to imitate the white
                                                                         marble displayed in a scene of bright daylight. Based on the
                IV. MOBILE AR APPLICATIONS
                                                                         feedback of the Parthenon mobile AR system, it can give
    As briefly discussed in the previous section, the focus of           benefit on the educational context and the environment should
this paper is in the area of mobile AR application. In this              be richer in overall content.
section, this paper will present the related work of mobile AR               Damala et al. [32] developed a museum guide based on AR
application based on five areas: sport, games and edutainment;           technology at the Museum of Fine Arts in Rennes, France.




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From their findings, mobile AR has the potential to provide an           E. Marketing/Advertising
interesting alternative of finding direction and interaction. It             IBM Corporation has started to experiment their mobile AR
also can provide more spontaneous and distinct way in the                application in helping the consumer in everyday shopping.
interaction with the displayed object.                                   According to IBM, market opportunity in this segment reaches
                                                                         92% as 58% of consumer wants to get product information in-
    C. Medical                                                           store [27].
    Maher-Hein et al. developed a mobile AR for on-patient                   Starbucks also has introduced their mobile AR application
visualization of medical images [25]. The interaction involved           called the Starbucks Augmented Cup. They use AR to make a
was by moving the mobile device along the body of the patient            number of images on decorating cups come to life. The
through visualization in which the physician could get the               applications can be downloaded and are available on both
sense of being able to directly investigate the human body and           Android and Apple mobile platform. This application allows
present the information of the image. The proposed concept               consumers to view five different kinds of animated design on
can also be used for planning, anatomy teaching and various              different cups [10].
other applications that require intuitive visualization of 3D                Volkswagen, on the other side, utilized AR technology to
data.                                                                    target a consumer segment that valued high-performance
    Navab et al. [33], meanwhile, have developed integrated              capabilities. They have developed an application called 2012
AR solutions in the perspective of a minimally invasive                  VW Beetle .This application allows consumers to view virtual
surgery in order to improve the image or visualization during            Beetles performing high-flying stunts high above the busy
therapy via augmented reality (AR) by applying head-mounted              streets. The stunts are similar of X Games performances, and
displays (HMD) in their system. The information presentation             the open locations give the ads a sense of excitement [10].
such as text will be displayed through HMD and medical                       The next section will conclude all the analyses and findings
professionals are able to interact with it based on the                  from this study.
information presented.
    Sugimoto et al. proposed intra-operative projector systems                               V. FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
by applying a new concept of “image overlay surgery” [34].                  This section focuses on the findings based on literature
This concept comprised the integration of VR and AR                      survey on the mobile AR trends especially in medicine, games
technology in which a number of dynamic 3D images were                   and edutainment and cultural heritage area. For this study, we
superimposed on the patient’s actual body surface and                    have used several databases as references like Google and
evaluated as a reference for surgical navigation.                        Google Scholar.
    The developer such as Mac has developed an application
for iPhone called Hallux Angles which is a radiographic                   A. Literature Survey
measurement aid to assist in the pre-op radiographs planning                 Many researchers, based on the literature survey that has
process. By using mobile AR in iPhone camera, the radiograph             been done, have focused on the five areas of application as
can be measured by visualization. On-screen guides help to               mentioned earlier in this paper. Table II shows some of the
align the device with the forefoot bones.                                previous studies that have been done. In the next subsection,
                                                                         this paper will investigate on the common task performed by a
D. Education and training                                                user and type of devices used based on the literature survey.
    Dunleavy et al. developed a game called Alien Contact!
[35]. This application is designed to teach math, language arts                    TABLE II.      EXAMPLE OF MOBILE AR APPLICATIONS
and science literacy skills to middle school students. It can be
                                                                                  Type                Tasks performed by the user       Hardware
adapted to any outdoor environment, and superimposes a map
of a virtual world on that space based on GPS coordinates.                                   1) Sports, Games and Edutainment
Students can interact by interviewing virtual characters, collect                                     Treasure hunt game.
digital items, and solve science, math and language problems              Paper map navigation:       Navigating the location using
                                                                                                                                        Handheld
                                                                          MapLens (2011) [3]          mobile devices and
to answer the question. Moreover, the students are able to see a                                      manipulating objects.
number of different pieces of evidence displayed on the mobile                                        Navigating the AR
screen depending on the role they play which requires team                A game called               environment and conducting
work to solve.                                                            Environmental Detectives virtual interviews with people       Handheld
                                                                          (2007) [30]                 in designated locations in the
   Haritos and Macchiarella [36] have developed a mobile AR                                           physical space.
system for training and maintenance purposes. From this
                                                                                                       Used kinesthetic AR interfaces
system, it is found that AR technology is able to reduce the              AR tennis game (2005)
                                                                                                       to play games in collaborative   Handheld
cost of training and retraining of their members. An equal                [18]
                                                                                                       ways.
application has been developed by De Crescenzio and Fantini
[37] as well.                                                                                         2) Cultural Heritage
                                                                          Reconstruction of ancient    Object manipulation and
                                                                                                                                        Handheld
                                                                          building (2011) [31]         visualization.




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 Mobile AR guides at the           Visualizing ancient Roman                                     over past 5 years. Kinesthetic task shows a slow increment
                                                                           Handheld
 ancient site (2008) [5]           characters.                                                   over 5 years with only 3 %.
 Mobile AR museum                  Navigation and object
                                                                           Handheld
 guide (2008) [32]                 manipulation.                                                  2) Devices used in performing the specific tasks
 Mobile AR guides at the           Visualizing the non-existing                                      As seen in Figure 3, most of the area of studies shows that
                                                                           HMD
 ancient site (2002) [24]          temple and navigation.                                        handheld is widely used as it offers portability and ease of use
                                      3) Medical
                                                                                                 at 65% compared to HMD and projector. Furthermore, by
 Medical images (2011)                                                                           using handheld devices such as smart-phone the user is able to
                                   Visualization.                          Handheld
 [25]                                                                                            get the latest information anywhere and anytime as long as
 On-screen guides for                                                                            there is internet connectivity.
 Radiographic
                                   Visualization.                          Handheld
 measurement aid (2011)
 [26]
                                                                                                             65%
 Image overlay surgery
                                   Navigation and visualization.           Projector
 (2010) [34]
 Minimal invasive surgery          Navigation and object
                                                                           HMD
 (2007) [33]                       manipulation.                                                                                                25%
                                                                                                                              15%
                                4) Education & Training
                                   Navigating the AR
 To teach math, language
                                   environment and solving the
 arts and scientific literacy                                              Handheld
                                   puzzle and collecting digital                                           Handheld        Projector            HMD
 skills (2009) [35]
                                   items.
 Maintenance (aerospace)                                                                                           Fig. 3. Devices used by the user.
                                   Visualization.                          Handheld
 [36]
                                   Visualization, navigation and                                                         VI. CONCLUSION
 Training (aircraft)[37]                                                   HMD
                                   object manipulation
                                                                                                     In this paper, several projects related to mobile AR
                                5) Marketing/Advertising                                         application by previous researches dated from 1997 until
 IBM grocery[10]                   Visualization                           Handheld              recently have been discussed. In sports, games and
 The Starbucks
                                                                                                 edutainment area, it is shown that mobile AR is able to
                                   Visualization                           Handheld              promote social interactivity and fun learning among users.
 Augmented Cup[10]
                                                      * Handheld- Smartphone, tablet, PDA        Using mobile AR a user is able to feel the realness of the
                                                                                                 object though it is only visible on screen devices that can
  1) Task performed by the user                                                                  manipulate the virtual object. In the area of cultural heritage,
      Based on the literature survey, several tasks have been                                    mobile AR not only improves the learning experience of the
performed by user including, object manipulation, navigation,                                    user but also is able to reconstruct the ancient object and
kinesthetic and visualization as shown in Figure 2.                                              building. This will definitely be able to preserve and create
                                                                                                 educational resources in case of disaster. While in the area
                                                                                                 medicine, procedures that might have been potentially life-
                                                                                                 threatening can now be reduced. In this case, the medical
                                                                                                 professionals now have the ability to use mobile AR to view a
                                                                                                 patient’s skeletal structure and internal organs through images
                                                                                                 superimposed over the body's exterior. Hence, it can be
                                                                                                 concluded that mobile AR has the potential to improve the
                                                                                                 efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare in terms of training
                                                                                                 and health procedure.
                                                                                                     The interaction of the user with the mobile AR device is
                                                                                                 mainly to navigate and visualize the content in AR
                                                                                                 environment and to manipulate the object inside it. In
                                                                                                 addition, using mobile AR, it is used to improve the quality
                            0%       5%     10%     15%     20%      25%                         and quantity of relevant contextual information available at a
                                                                                                 certain place and time [31] proven from the analysis that has
                                                                                                 been done by researchers. Based on this study, there is a great
                     Fig. 2. A task performed by the user.
                                                                                                 potential of mobile AR in many application areas. Even
                                                                                                 though mobile AR is not limited only to the five areas
About 20% of researchers select navigation as a main task in
                                                                                                 mentioned above, there is still a need of improvement where
conducting their studies. This finding indicates that research
                                                                                                 area of mobile AR application will be applied and utilized.
on navigation has increased rapidly over the years. Followed
by object manipulation task in AR has increased around 9%




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Description: Mobile devices are getting popular as a platform for Augmented Reality (AR) application such as a Smartphone. Mobile AR is mainly available whenever people require an informational support for a focused task. Although the mobile AR application is getting popular, only a limited number of researches are available. This paper in turn presents an overview of potential or current uses of mobile AR application from the first development of mobile AR application in 1997 until now. The objective is to observe the trend and the importance of mobile augmented reality by focusing on sports, games and entertainment, cultural heritage, medical, education and training and marketing/advertising area depended on where it can be applied. Our results then indicate that mobile AR is a potential tool to assist a user in many tasks.